53rd National Conference of the African National Congress

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The 53rd National Conference of the African National Congress (ANC) was held in Mangaung, Free State in December 2012. It re-elected Jacob Zuma and supporters to the party's top leadership and National Executive Committee (NEC), substantially defeating an opposing group that had coalesced around challenger Kgalema Motlanthe.

The conference is a precursor to the general election of 2014, in which the re-elected leader of the ANC, the current majority party in the national parliament, is highly likely to remain the President of South Africa. It was also only the second leadership contest between two candidates at the national level since the 52nd National Conference of the African National Congress, when Zuma deposed then president Thabo Mbeki, and the 38th National Conference of the African National Congress in 1949, a watershed moment in the party's history when the moderate leadership was displaced by such figures as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu.


The buildup to the 53rd conference saw rivalry for the presidency of the ANC between Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe.

New party leadership[edit]

The 53rd conference re-elected Jacob Zuma as the president of the ANC. All of the top six NEC positions (President, Deputy President, Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, National Chairperson and Treasurer-General) went to Zuma supporters, representing a comprehensive defeat for the forces backing Motlanthe. A consistently large margin of around 75% in the votes for all these positions indicated that Zuma and Motlanthe supporters had voted as a block on all the senior positions.[1]

The newly elected National Executive Committee was also dominated by Zuma supporters. The conference also agreed to retain the size of the NEC at 86, defeating a proposal to reduce it back to 66, the level prior to 2007.


Jacob Zuma was re-elected president of the ANC.

Zuma, the incumbent president of the ANC and president of South Africa, defeated Kgalema Motlanthe, incumbent deputy president of the ANC and deputy president of South Africa.

Deputy President[edit]

Cyril Ramaphosa received 3,018 votes and was elected deputy president of the ANC, convincingly defeating Mathews Phosa, who received 470 votes and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, who received 463.[2]


Baleka Mbete was re-elected with 3,010 votes against Thandi Modise’s 393 votes[2]


Gwede Mantashe was re-elected Secretary-General with the highest number of votes, defeating Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.[2]

Deputy Secretary-General[edit]

Former spokesperson Jessie Duarte was elected unopposed as deputy secretary-general.[2]


The premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Zweli Mkize was elected as treasurer-general, defeating Arts Minister Paul Mashatile by 2,988 votes to 961, and ousting incumbent Mathews Phosa.[2]


External links[edit]